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Starmer will create new peers despite wanting to abolish the House of Lords

21 Jun 2023 2 minute read
The House of Lords. Photo Roger Harris, House of Lords

The Labour Party has insisted it still wants to abolish the House of Lords despite planning to swell its size with new peers in order to push through policy if it forms a government.

Sir Keir Starmer’s spokesman said he was standing by the pledge to get rid of the upper house in the first term of a Labour administration, but said there could be “interim reforms”.

Under the current makeup, Labour would need 90 more peers to surpass the Tories’ 263 members to become the largest party in the upper house.

The party conceded that it may take more than one term to shift the balance but said it still wants to replace the “indefensible” Lords with a new elected chamber in a first term.

Sir Keir’s spokesman said: “Every government when they first come into power do not have a majority within the House of Lords because of the nature of the appointments process.

“And every government as a matter of custom and practice looks to make appointments to the House of Lords but it’s not something that’s done in one fell swoop, it’s something that takes time and often takes more than a term in government for that to happen.”

He said new Labour peers would be expected to back abolition, with the full details of the policy to be set out ahead of the next general election.


In December, Sir Keir unveiled plans led by former prime minister Gordon Brown to replace the Lords with a democratic assembly of nations and regions.

His spokesman said: “That reform of the House of Lords will be in the first term of a Labour government.”

There are currently 779 members in what is one of the world’s biggest upper chambers, even before Boris Johnson’s resignation honours choices take up their positions.

Lord Speaker Lord McFall has argued his chamber is too large and should be reduced but is pushing for reform rather than replacement.

Sir Keir’s spokesman suggested reforms could take place before full abolition, such as getting rid of by-elections for the remaining hereditary peers.

He said: “There may be interim reforms along the way, I’m not ruling that out.”

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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 months ago

Starmer comes from the same school as hypocrite Neil Kinnock. Throughout the 1970s, besides stopping Welsh devolution resulting in Wales suffering 18 years of Tory misrule and demise of the unions there to protect our workers rights , also argued on his soapbox how he would abolish the House of Lords only himself to enter the lords along with his obnoxious wife Glenys, who is no lady by the way.

Bachgen o Lerpwl
11 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Bring back hereditary peers. Better than pensionable professional politicians.

11 months ago

So Starmer is just as likely to create more opportunities for career troughers. How very socialist ! Man is just as bad as that other lot of wasters.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
11 months ago

The system is too entrenched, it’ll never change, many of the Commons politicians have a vested interest in it – become a peer – Sure! Just vote for this or back me please… Look at Johnson’s cronies – what on earth have most of them done apart from back him? It’s a joke. The only way we are going to get rid of the Lords is through independence.

11 months ago

Another flip flop from Starmer. Last week he said he wanted to see house prices reduced to become more affordable, today he says he is concerned that house prices will fall and mean house owners will see their property values drop. Same with renewable energy. He changes his stance depending on who he is talking to. He gives the impression that he doesn’t know what he wants and will do anything to get power. This is worrying because voters have a right (at the very least) to know what they are going to get.

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